Eureka: Bad to the Drone

Parents and children is the theme of the third season opener. Carter tries to exhert a little parental control on Zoe, especially after she gets a job at the Cafe Diem. A testing of small robotic fightercraft goes wrong as one achieves an adolescent level of sentience. Interestingly, they are called Vipers and Zoe later describes them as Cylon. Zoe and the Viper also has a bonding moment where the Viper tries to help her get away from Carter.

Eva Thorne, the corporate killer, is brought in to make Eureka and Global Dynamics more efficient and more money making. She also brings with her a maternal disapproval of how things are run at Global and also ideas. No doubt she’ll be around for quite a while, making difficult situations even more complicated.

While the romance between Carter and Allyson Blake is put on dry ice, the idea of Blake and Stark getting married is out there. She doesn’t say yes yet, but she’s thinking about it.

Product placement is now hard to get away from: cases of Degree product shows up here and there. This reminds me of when Zima showed up on Babylon 5. Does anyone drink that now? Will Eureka’s product placement increase the amount of Degree users? That remains to be seen.

Eureka! On Tonight

Eureka Ice Cream truck

Season Three of Eureka premieres tonight. Chris, I promise I won’t be a little too eager with blogging this. I could use the summary function and issue a spoiler alert, but I have the feeling that won’t let me off the hook. I’ll just pursue an editorial policy similar to the one I have for Project Runway.

As for the image above, it was a little odd and eerie (but somehow appropriate) to hear the Eureka theme playing from an ice cream truck during Comic-Con weekend. Unfortunately, no Space Age ice cream was given away.

Mona Lisa Smile and then some

Of course, much of the fall programming on ShindoTV is teaching stories, and this is no exception. Much of my time now is taken up with preparing for classes, reading papers (sometimes I want to shoot myself in the head), running to and fro various campuses. This week I picked up a critical thinking class at the urban college from a professor who dropped it to reduce her course load. She was happy to get away from this group of people and now I know why.

This course focuses on race, class, and gender. This guarantees that there will be a lot of controversial topics, enough to make any white person/white wannabe* uneasy. White (male) privilege, that women and minorities still face discrimination, and that divide between rich and poor has become greater are recurring topics in this course. The professor warned me the group would be resistant.

They watched Crash before sometime before I took over the class. She told me the class had a discussion on it, but they weren’t quite finished. I tried to continue the discussion yesterday, only to get tightlipped silence. Even though I saw the film several times, nothing prepared me for this. Some people did talk about the film, but several of the more vocal ones tried to claim the discussion on Crash was over. I also got some other misleading ideas about the course from some other student, such as that the papers were two pages in length and that the readings weren’t due that day. This was definitely a Mona Lisa Smile moment if there ever was one. I felt a lot like Julia Robert’s character walking in on that horrid group of girls with another professor’s syllabus. However, my class was a horrid group of young men and women.

New syllabus, new rules, and much longer papers. They need their arses kicked.

Now on to a few other things. Chris made a comment in his latest entry about “making a concerted effort not to do a blog fade.” He mentioned a few of the blogs he read that seemed to hit blog death. No apologies for not posting, just a sudden stop. I don’t think that’s the fate of Chris’s blog.

There’s this one person on my blogroll who stopped posting altogether. He got himself a domain name to route it to his blog and no posting since some rant in July. He broke his silence to show off a T-shirt, but that’s was over twenty days ago. Is this blog faded? Hopefully, all isn’t quiet on the western front.

I saw Eureka last night. I still don’t know what to make of Stark beyond that he’s hot (as he is too complex to be a villain). Oh, alchemy turns out to be alive and well in Eureka and apparently has a very handsome practitioner. That’s all I’ll say on Eureka.

On a lighter note about teaching, I inflicted a Beavis and Butthead episode “Butt Is It Art?” on my freshman composition class in east county. The main point of showing the vid was to show cause and effect, though I wonder if my students only got a “boob” and a “butt” out of it. We also discussed Chris Crocker’s newfound fame as a result of Britney’s critically panned VMA performance and we watched his vid and Seth Green’s parody. Gotta love those smart carts.

Back to work. I have a long day tomorrow.

*this definitely applies to those conservative types.

Eureka, Season 2: Maneater

In last night’s episode, there’s an exploding toilet. Sewers are also featured in “Maneater,” but it’s safe to say they’re not used as a means of escape or to get from point A to B. Eureka‘s not that obvious, but the sewers* do play an important role in solving the mystery of the week.

A few episodes, Carter met Callie, the invisibility chemist turned dry cleaner, and it was nice to see him move on from Allison. However, Carter soon finds himself to be irresistible to all the women in Eureka, including Jo, Allison, and the presenter of the sexual harassment workshop at the beginning of the episode. Every man dreams of being the sexiest man in town, but this soon turns into a life threatening situation for Carter. Of course, you can expect a scientific solution, but I’m not giving this one away.

Eureka is definitely climbing up there with all the Star Trek episodes for interesting science for problems and magical solutions, but their approach is much more subtle.

Stark looked hot and irresistible in his form fitting short sleeve black shirt. Apparently, he’s been reinstated as a researcher at Global, unless he has no life and hangs out there. He certainly isn’t in a hurry to get a job elsewhere. While some previous episodes cast some doubts on his villainy, this one raises some questions. Perhaps it relates to the mysterious agenda at the end of “Once In A Lifetime,” but he’s not too crazy about Carter snooping around about Kim’s death (which was caused by an experiment with the Artifact).

*waste and air conditioning, which requires an MIT PhD to manage.

Eureka, etc.

I wish yesterday was just a dream. Faculty development days just go on way too long: workshops, department meetings, safety meetings, etc. And, it’s not even over. There’s an orientation for new adjuncts later on today, and then there are some more meetings this week for another school, and next week, there are some more for another. School starts for one of the community college districts I work for next week and I still have some homework to do for my coming classes. Yikes!

I guess this is as close as I get to having a shared dream with others, as there are other teachers in the midst of this craziness.

Thankfully, I haven’t had any shared dreams with anyone while I was asleep. In this week’s Eureka, the hapless locals share each other’s dreams. This is an excuse to get Carter’s clothes off, as he first experiences the daytime nightmare (awake) of getting decontaminated from something on location, only to have the classic naked dream later. Fargo has a cheesy Zorro dream involving a woman he’s had his eye on (try to guess who) with Stark as his rival. If I had the Zorro dream with Stark, I’d first cut the laces on his shirt and then do some deft moves to cut his clothes in strategic places and watch them fall off.

Speaking of Stark, he doesn’t even fall asleep in this episode, as we don’t get to see him try to fulfill some fantasy of getting back together on his estranged wife. He’s quite blatant about this goal in his waking life to the point of making Carter feel inadequate about his offer to fix Allison’s water heater. Of course, even the simple things in Eureka needs a PhD. from MIT to get done.

I missed Flesh Gordon Flash Gordon last Friday, but I downloaded it from iTunes. Flash Gordon has had many incarnations on the screen, but I have memories of the campy film from 1980. It’s hard to get the Queen theme song out of my head, which is what the Sci Fi Channel counted on for many prospective viewers as a version of it played in commercials. Flash (a blond beefcake for sure) and Dale go to Mongo, thanks to a creepy Dr. Zarkov, that is more Italian futurist (with the fascism to go along with it and a touch of 1984) than the over the top orientalia of previous versions. Ming the Merciless Dictator is after some strange device invented on Earth. No doubt, this will fuel plenty of episodes, along with the unfulfillable love between Flash and Dale.

Eureka, Season 2: Duck Duck Goose

This week, I saw Eureka live on the Sci Fi Channel like the rest of the mortals. No sneak peak here.

Exploitative parents, high school has-beens, and mean girls in Eureka? Strangely enough, yes to all of the above. A not so ordinary science fair seems to bring out the worst in some students, a parent, and the anxieties of a science fair winner from the past. As usual, Carter gets drawn into the case due to some quirky circumstances.

A funny moment is when Carter goes to the gym to impress Allison. The local gym, like most places in Eureka, is high tech. Carter grappling with some odd technology of the week is one thing, but since he isn’t a gym bunny, his workout clothes are on loan from the gym: a tank top with RELAX across the chest and black and white vertical striped shorts. This has got to be some kind of 80’s fashion joke from Wardrobe. As for Nathan Stark, he does work out (and that’s something that was evident at Comic-Con).

After the gym visit, an incident caused by irresponsible parenting draws Carter into the case of the shooting stars. Despite his clumsy fathering moments, it’s safe to say he’s not the culprit. However, someone’s child rearing skills is suspect, and it’s taken to a high tech level.

In Eureka, the mean girls are smart. In a town where most adults are highly intelligent and their children are infinitely smarter, these girls are super geniuses. Needless to say, they’re not nice about it, especially to Zoe. This episode, though, reveals some nice surprises for Zoe in how she measures up.

Many towns are littered with former star high school football players, but Eureka’s full of former science fair winners. As shown in previous episodes, science fair alums, like anyone else in Eureka, are capable of a lot of damage. There aren’t any former high school Wii baseball players (see “Blink” for the ball game) who are out to run away from or reclaim their high tech fame. Then again, virtual sports players don’t serve this story, but the parallels to juvenile athletic glory are there (or spelling bee winners).

Much of the technology in Eureka so far has been reminiscent of something shown on Star Trek, but it’s nice to see that they’ve gotten more inventive in this episode. The gym technology is one thing, but device responsible for freak incident of the week is quite another. I’m not giving it away. You’re just going to have to watch and find out.

Maybe next week, we’ll get to see some Carter skin. That’s what the trailer implies, anway.

Stay tuned this Friday for Flash Gordon on the Sci Fi Channel, 9pm local time.